WBTT hosts vocalist Brenda Watty, who will discuss ‘Life as a Marvelette’ February 5-6

SARASOTA, FL – The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is pleased to continue the 2016-2017 WBTT Voices program with its second program of the season. On Sunday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Monday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m., WBTT hosts talented vocalist Brenda Watty, a girl group veteran and former member of The Marvelettes, who will present “Life as a Marvelette.” 

Sarasota educator Edna Sherrell, a member of WBTT’s advisory board, will serve as the interviewer for the program, to help guide the storytelling. In addition to numerous musical selections, audiences will be entertained by Watty’s stories about her experiences performing in The Marvelettes and rubbing elbows with some of the most renowned musicians of the time.

Watty has a long and distinguished musical career. She spent five years in ‘60s girl group The Toys, singing lead vocals on the hit song “Lovers Concerto,” then moving on to Musique, where she scored another hit, “Push Push in the Bush.” Her agency, Banner Talent, secured for her the audition for lead vocals with The Marvelettes; she spent 15 years with the group, opening shows for the Temptations, Four Tops, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Ricky Nelson, The Ink Spots, Mary Wells, The Drifters, The Platters and many, many more. She also toured with Desmond Wilson of TV hit show “Sanford and Son,” singing background in Roy Radin’s Vaudeville Show where Wilson was the star.

Currently, Watty is the lead singer of the Gotta Luv It band, performs her one-woman show at Sarasota Wine Bar Bistro and The Starlite Room, and is a member of two choirs at the Light of the World International Church: The Voices and the Senior Choir.

This presentation of WBTT Voices takes place just a month prior to the opening of the Troupe’s production of “Girl Groups: The ‘60s Explosion,” which will showcase the women who took the stage and airwaves by storm in the 1960s. WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, who is writing the world-premiere production, is thrilled to welcome Watty to WBTT to tell her story.

"In the 1960s, female artists were most often relegated to the background. To break into the business, they had to hang around the studio and support male artists; even all-women groups were not initially looked at with the same interest and respect by record companies or audiences as the men,” said Jacobs. “But groups like The Marvelettes, The Supremes, The Shirelles, and The Shangri-Las changed all that. Brenda Watty was part of a movement that helped women gain legitimacy and power in the music industry – I can’t wait to hear her story!"

The WBTT Voices program, which is a free service WBTT offers for the community, examines the people and issues that have shaped the African-American experience in our country. WBTT Voices was launched in 2014; all programs have been at full capacity.

"Voices" takes place at the WBTT Theatre (1646 10th Way, Sarasota). Free and open to the public but reservations are required. RSVP by calling the Box Office at (941) 366-1505 or reserving on westcoastblacktheatre.org.

About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience and attract diverse audiences while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.